Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Prediction: Russia vs New Zealand

SoccerPredictions in Free Soccer Predictions 15 Jun 2017

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Verdict: Russia to win to nil

Best Odds: 17/20

Bookmaker: William Hill

Russia head into the opening clash against New Zealand as clear favourites, hoping to build on some promising performances in the final warm-up games. Meanwhile, the Kiwis are aware their first game is the best chance of getting some points on the board, but they will definitely need to show some improvement.

Russia

The Russian national team have been on a major downtrend of late and while Stanislav Cherchesov was not everybody’s first choice to replace Leonid Slutsky after the disappointing performance at the Euro 2016 finals, he has shown a lot of bravery having made a complete overhaul of the squad. Granted, players like Alan Dzagoev, Mario Fernandes and Artem Dzyuba were unavailable through injury, but he did get rid of Aleksandr Kokorin, Oleg Shatov and Vasili Berezutski, who had had important roles to play in the past. Cherchesov needed a while to get his ideas across and rebuild the squad, but several weeks the team have had to work together in the build up to the 2017 Confederations Cup is likely to make a lot of difference. Russia began preparations for the showpiece tournament on home soil with a 3-0 away victory over Hungary before faring really well in the 1-1 draw with Copa America champions Chile. These two performances definitely acted as a major confidence boost, but Stanislav Cherchesov’s men still face a tough task of reaching the knockout stages.

Team News

Artem Dzyuba and Roman Zobnin were forced to withdraw due to injury, but there have been no fresh selection worries for Cherchesov.

New Zealand

New Zealand have so far taken part at three Confederations Cup tournaments, finishing rock bottom in each of those appearances, taking just one point from nine games and scoring 2 goals in the process. It is, therefore, hardly surprising that the All Whites are keen to show some improvement in Russia and attempt to record their first ever Confederations Cup victory. That will be no easy task when we know that Anthony Hudson’s charges were placed in the same group with hosts Russia, Euro 2016 champions Portugal and CONCACAF giants Mexico, but New Zealand clearly did not make the long journey just to make up the numbers. While the Kiwis have done fairly well at the back of late, the lack of goals is proving to be a serious issue, as there is only so much in-form forward Chris Wood can do on his own. After scoring mere 10 goals in nine fixtures, New Zealand suffered back to back 1-0 defeats to Northern Ireland and Belarus in their final two warm-up games, so it goes without saying they are not in a position to threaten the improving Russia side.

Team News

Captain Winston Reid misses out through injury, while veteran forward Rory Fallon and goalkeeper Jake Gleeson were overlooked.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Russia and New Zealand have never met before
  • The hosts are missing quite a few important players
  • New Zealand failed to score in three of last four away matches
  • The Kiwis have never won a Confederations Cup match
  • Russia playing on home soil

Verdict

Russia have shown a great deal of improvement over the last few weeks and with such a big pool to choose from, Stanislav Cherchesov has no reason to worry about numerous absentees. Winston Reid, on the other hand, will be a big miss for the All Whites, who have seriously problems up front.

Verdict: Russia to win to nil

Best Odds: 17/20

Bookmaker: William Hill

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